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“Hand flat, stand pat”?
July 10, 2015
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Reading the second slogan prompted me to compare the following hands.

A54 T98 K43 A854 (West's actual hand)
A54 T9 K843 A854
A54 T9 Q843 A854
July 10, 2015
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Rainer, I've thought about it and am not sure that I entirely agree.

If in the context of the above defense problem, we were to generously grant that for any given spot played by East at Trick One, the context would have sufficed for West, irrespective of West's holding in the suit, to accurately and unequivocally interpret it as attitude or to accurately and unequivocally interpret it as count, then I don't think it was over the top for me to have implied that a human being sitting East could have figured out all this in the few seconds that an opening leader's partner has available.

I think it was beyond over the top!
July 9, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 9, 2015
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“I don't see the N hand as a minimum as I sit over the opening bidder (at least in the three suits excluding clubs)”

I would have expected South to have inferred, prior to North's second turn to call, that North's honors were likely well-placed.
July 8, 2015
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Thanks, Todd. For in-person play, how about if the Laws designated Declarer's LHO as the defense's spokesperson and provided for RHO to convey his/her inclination securely to LHO, who would then report his/her pair's acceptance of the claim or request that play continue.
July 8, 2015
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Bob, I like your idea (I'm inferring) of having the claimer simply state how many of the remaining tricks s/he is claiming, with play continuing if an opponent refuses the claim. Having the claimer refrain from making reference to anything about the deal or the position, would seem to greatly reduce the chance of the refusal's waking up Declarer.

I am curious as to whether this approach was considered and rejected when the Laws of Duplicate were first written.
July 8, 2015
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John: “Also in an online game, the mere act of refusing the claim wakes declarer up to a potential issue.”

Another possibility is that Declarer is suffering from a fixation and as a result, is baffled by the opponents' refusal of the claim, fails to take precautions, and needlessly loses one or more of the remaining tricks.
July 8, 2015
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I think that before trying to improve the laws regarding claims, it needs to be decided whether the objective of those laws should be to administer justice on a particular deal or to improve the game as a whole (fewer director calls, fewer appeals, etc.).

Claiming is voluntary. If Declarer cannot present a clear and complete claim, perhaps the laws should discourage making a claim. A claim should address outstanding enemy trump either explicitly (e.g., “Drawing trumps”) or implicitly (e.g., “Crossruff high”). If a claim fails to do either and there is a legal continuation in which those enemy trump take tricks, perhaps the ruling should be that those trump take tricks.

I think that claims should be made only when Declarer could take the claimed number of tricks in his/her sleep and that uncompromising laws regarding claims would foster this.
July 8, 2015
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I inferred that Rainer was advocating that there be no systemic minimum requirements for a 2/1 response, that responder's hand be evaluated and a judgment made.
July 7, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 7, 2015
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That's interesting. Thanks for sharing.
July 7, 2015
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I'm just wondering whether it would be easier for players to gauge, if “additional master points requested for bracketing” were replaced by “number of bracket move-ups requested” (probably not the best phrasing). There could be a way to indicate “maximum.”
July 7, 2015
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Many of the comments on this and similar threads have given me the impression that a lot of the folks here either have forgotten what it's like to be a weak player or were engineering squeezes while still in the cradle.

I still remember how I struggled when I took up the game seriously decades ago. I don't recall having failed to overruff at Trick 12 in a situation akin to that in the original post. But did I do comparably boneheaded things at the bridge table? Absolutely.

I will refrain from posting any of them because I don't want to get banned for indecency.
July 7, 2015
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“Say that we had found a great lead from 10xx to partner's putative Axxxx. Would his playing low be length then?”

I could see third hand's signaling to show encouragement in this situation. But given that Dummy has played 8 from KQ8, I have difficulty envisioning a layout where third-hand wants to encourage and yet plays the deuce. Therefore, I'd be inclined to interpret the deuce as count.

Edit: My second sentence sure wasn't written very well. For “where third-hand…deuce”, I'd like to substitute, “…where the deuce would be the only spot by which third-hand could indicate discouragement.”
July 7, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 7, 2015
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Your idea does seem alien, but that doesn't mean I don't perceive its advantages. 8o) By focusing on the honors that matter, your method makes it less necessary or unnecessary to “limit one's hand.”

In your sample auction, 1-2-2-2-3-?, what would responder's alternatives to 3 mean?
July 7, 2015
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It appears that Declarer is 2=3 in the black suits. If South wins at Trick Two and shifts to a (playing Partner for AQ-fifth), that would imply that Declarer has a running five-card suit, in which case the shift establishes Declarer's ninth trick. Playing Partner for AQ-fifth instead, seems similarly futile.

So, it seems that the defense's best chance is to win at Trick Two and play another , hoping that partner has enough scattered strength to prevent Declarer from establishing five tricks in the red suits.
July 6, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 6, 2015
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Does opponents' 2N opener say anything about a five-card major?
July 6, 2015
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“Josh, this doesn't seem to solve what the director told me was the main concern - namely, lower bracket teams complaining about having to play the “better” teams that were dropped down. It seems that teams being willing to drop down isn't the main issue. Even if they are willing, the lower teams perceive it as unfair to have to play against them. Whether or not this concern should be catered to is another question, but apparently it is catered to now, and I don't see your suggestion solving this problem.”

I don't understand why “moving up” some teams should generally require “moving down” other teams. Suppose that the top 8 teams entering a regional knockout are deemed in a class of their own, and it happens that the 17th-ranked team wants to play up. Granting this request would fill out Bracket One with an eager team and have no cascading effect on lower brackets.

In many other cases, the departure from a bracket by a team that wants to play up would still leave the bracket with at least 9 teams.

I can imagine that managing this would be a headache for directors until software could do it reasonably well (assuming that such software doesn't exist yet).
July 6, 2015
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The phrase “one which could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the UI” might well have been crafted with all deliberate speed. I'd much prefer that it read (if this was the intent): “one which, for some of the player's peers, would demonstrably have been suggested over another by the UI.”
July 6, 2015
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Yuan, I had thought that the AMS paper (and apparently Diaconis's also, being that the AMS paper cited it) was using the term “random” not to mean “equally likely,” but to mean “covering the possible outcomes.” In taking another quick look at the AMS paper, I realize I was mistaken. But it's still not clear to me that the number of shuffles necessary for “completeness” is the same for deck permutations as for bridge deals.

Edit: I realize that if shuffling seven times is more than sufficient for bridge deals and isn't a hardship on the shufflers, then trying to determine a smaller number of shuffles that would suffice for bridge deals might be rather involved and have limited practical value.
July 5, 2015
David Levin edited this comment July 5, 2015
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Being single, I am at liberty to suggest, “providing an opportunity to spend some quality time away from your partner."
July 3, 2015
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